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Meet the Class: Nour Da Silva

September 1, 2016
Nour Da Silva EMBA Class 17 Scholarship Winner

Miami-based creative director and copywriter Nour Da Silva reflects on winning the  Miami Ad School Scholarship and one what she’s learned from her Berlin School experience so far.

You won a scholarship from the Miami Ad School and were selected from numerous applicants from around the world. What did this award mean to you?

Winning the scholarship felt, and still feels, like both an honor and an immense responsibility. Being chosen for my ideas and views about the industry I work in (advertising) by the very same school that shapes the future of it, is a distinction that fills me with pride, as well as with the feeling that I’m very lucky.

It has reassured me that I’m on the right path; searching for how to make things better. It’s in my hands now, to really make the best out of this opportunity and bring back the knowledge that will help make some changes or at least seed new ideas.

It has also induced me with the duty that whatever I learn, I must teach others. Interesting enough, that’s also a condition that defines good leaders, so it’s fair to say that the moment I won it, I literary started my path to become a better one. It is truly a scholarship to make new leaders for the industry. It’s the continuation of what I feel starts at the Miami Ad School.

As a freelance senior creative, why are creative leadership skills an advantage?

Because of your seniority, companies already entrust you with big projects and the responsibilities that comes with them, and of course you always want to bring more to the table than the typical skills that you already have as a creative. They hire you for your creative competencies, that’s no doubt, but projects are hardly the work of one person alone, so being able to guide an entire team and having the fluidity to do so, even when you don’t have a background with them, is imperative.

Ideally sharpening your leadership skills and having a title that backs up your knowledge comes in handy. And it doesn’t hurt for future outcomes either, be it that you eventually would like to join a company or build your own.

What’s the most valuable or memorable thing you’ve learned during your Executive MBA Studies so far?

During every module I get many “aha!” moments, because the caliber of the professors is simply extraordinary. So it is hard just to mention one particular learning experience. Something that has caught my attention though, is the emphasis on social responsibility and social empathy. The world needs its leaders, and the companies they lead, to be more socially conscious and the Berlin School is remarkably good at instilling that in all of us. That’s a key learning, if I may say.

Each module you get to learn along side people from various industries, cultures and professions. What have you learned from your fellow Executive MBA students?

I must admit that one of my favorite things about this program is precisely getting to know the people that participate in it, and yes, it is enriching to learn from their working experience and their industries, but what I like the most is learning from their culture and how things are done in their respective countries. Usually, the background of the people is so rich and international, that you get to hear the stories of how things are done or expected to be done in their country of origin AND in the country where they currently live and work. So, it really is like traveling the world without moving. Even if the conversation is kept industry related, learning about copywriting in the Arab world or the television genres that Russia will buy for content, for example, is fascinating.

I have also learned that we are not that different when it comes to the reasons why we are in the program, we all want to be key in making our industry better for its outcomes, but also better for the people that work in it. We want to be the change.

Describe your Berlin School experience to date in 140 characters or less.

It has been intense, eye opening and a treat; packed with business knowledge that I never thought I would dare to get as a creative. A rollercoaster of emotions and a ride that I get to share with a group of the most brilliant minds from around the world.

I can also describe it as a giant recharging station, where each module drains you but just to charge you with new possibilities and ideas. So far, an experience like no other.


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